UEFA president Michel Platini has visited Latvia for talks with the country's leaders and senior officials from the Latvian Football Federation (LFF).
Mr Platini emphasised the excellent working relationship with the LFF. "This is the first time that I am in Latvia as UEFA president, and I am happy to meet the people who are doing so much to develop football in the country," Mr Platini said. The UEFA president also met Latvia's president Valdis Zatlers, prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis and the mayor of Riga, Nils Ušakovs, during his visit.
"The meetings at high level went very positively," Mr Platini explained, "and I saw a real interest on the part of the nation's leaders to see football in Latvia developing. A priority task for UEFA is the continuous development of football." Talks with the LFF also focused on Latvia's plans to build a modern arena in Riga.
LFF president Guntis Indriksons underlined the importance of UEFA's backing in other issues such as the construction of new pitches and the fight against corruption in football. "Thanks to numerous projects carried out by the association in conjunction with UEFA, and thanks to the development of the mini-pitch project, thousands of boys have a chance to play their favourite game.
"For this, I am personally very grateful to Michel Platini," Mr Indriksons continued. The LFF president added that UEFA's support was strengthening his resolve to fight corruption in football: "We have excellent working ties in terms of information exchange. We will continue to fight match-fixing – and we will fight fiercely."
"UEFA are neither police nor judges," said Mr Platini. "But our system of fighting these negative events in football is working on a high level – it is receiving the support of all the national associations, and in Latvia in particular. I am very happy to see that the LFF is working very seriously and productively in this respect."
Mr Platini also praised the LFF for the positive working ties between the two bodies. "We work in close contact," Mr Indriksons went on, "and I am very grateful to the UEFA president, whose effort and attention is helping to develop football in our country."
On Friday evening, Mr Platini attended the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying match between Latvia and Croatia in Riga.